Archive for January, 2014

Storm Kloud's Borealis North Lights, aka Vanir

Storm Kloud’s Borealis North Lights, aka Vanir

And once again, I’ve fallen behind on blogging.  You would think that, having taken a leave of absence from school, I would have kept up, but no. Somehow, I have both more and less time to blog. It’s a paradox I don’t understand. Well…maybe I kind of do. I’m home, but busy.

To bring you up to speed, first we got rid of deadbeat roommates. In keeping with the “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” philosophy, I will say no more than that on that subject, other than that I’ve decided that I don’t care if we’re on the verge of having to live in our trucks, I absolutely will not have any more roommates in this house.

After that, on December 17th, we picked up our Alaskan Malamute puppy from Storm Kloud Kennel, who has been named Storm Kloud’s Borealis North Lights, with the call name Vanir. He is disgustingly cute and soft, and talks almost nonstop. This was the first time I’d ever gone to a breeder; my other dogs are rescues or strays. But we wanted a puppy this time, and a good quality one. He will be fourteen weeks old on this coming Tuesday, and is already very close to as big as two of my other dogs. The breeder thinks he will be about 90 lbs., minimum. Looking at his paws, which are nearly the size of my hand and still growing, I’m thinking he’s going to be better than 100 lbs.! He is settling in very well with the other much older dogs; there is the occasional “you’re getting out of hand, chill out” snarl, but beyond that, he’s doing well with them. House training is a work in progress, although he’s doing pretty well there too, considering how young he is.

Of course, there is also catching up on all the housework that never seems to get done while I’m in school, such as laundry. That’s a never-ending job anyway. And both the vacuum and steam cleaner both decided to break at the same time, so I’m trying very hard not to look at my carpet, lest I lose my mind. We actually tried to vacuum the living room with the shop vac. Let me tell you, that did not go well at all.

On top of all this, one of our two furnaces decided to break down as well, just before Christmas. This is the furnace that heats the children’s rooms, which meant that they slept in our room for about three weeks while the home warranty company took their time getting it fixed. That was the worst, but the dishwasher and stove also broke around the same time. When it rains, it pours. Christmas was very barren this year for the kids, but they each got a scooter, which thrilled them to no end, and hubby decided to build them a castle dollhouse. That is still not finished, but it’s well on its way, and the girls can’t wait.

I also filled out a volunteer application for a local Siberian Husky/Alaskan Malamute rescue. I’ve had a kind of preliminary interview, and there are a few other steps that still need to be taken, but I’m hopeful I will soon be helping out there. I’d like to foster for the rescue, but I’m already at the city limit with my own dogs, and we aren’t sure how that will affect fostering. So for right now, that’s on the back burner.

And Bryony turned four just after Christmas, which required a birthday party, of course. Her first, and she enjoyed it immensely. She had two birthday cakes: one the day of her birthday that was just for the family celebration, one of those sickeningly sweet, store-bought concoctions; and the other one I made specifically for the party the next day. She couldn’t have been more thrilled.

There was one extremely negative incident on Martin Luther King day, which involved a carload of twentysomethings yelling the “N” word at me in front of my eight year old. I didn’t respond, not because I’m that good of a person at turning the other cheek, but because I was that shocked it had even happened. It’s probably better that I was too shocked to say anything. It’s not unheard of for me to lose my temper and say something that will make things worse. Of course, I do try not to do that, but I’m an Aries, with all attendant negative stereotypes. My daughter had never been exposed to that kind of hate before – why would she be, after all? Her dad is white, and I’m black, so there isn’t exactly an overabundance of hate in this house – and she really didn’t know what to make of it. Her innocence in that respect is now gone, which is what hurt the most. I would have preferred to broach the subject of prejudice in a much gentler way, but living in what seems to be the interracial couple capital of the USA, I didn’t think I needed to worry about it this soon.

That’s life in a nutshell…crazy. It rarely seems to be anything but crazy. Thankfully, though, it’s equally rare that life takes that negative a turn.

In the last couple of weeks, I learned to crochet a basket weave type of pattern, which is very cool, picked up my naalbinding needle to practice a little, and have made myself pick up needle knitting again, in the hopes that I’ll get it. It’s very frustrating for me. I’ve mastered the long tail cast-on, and decided to try knitting socks. I thought nothing could be simpler. Um…no. It’s anything but. Every time I start to knit, I either lose a stitch, or gain one. In one day, I unraveled the stupid knitting no less than eight times. I cannot stress enough how irritating it was to start, rip it out, start, rip it out. I was so sick of it that the last time I gained a stitch out of nowhere, I just knit two stitches together as one and kept going. Were my needles not so gorgeous, I swear by my pretty floral bonnet, I would have ended them. But these are part of the limited edition Knitter’s Pride set of needles, in all their loveliness. Throwing them across the room was not an option!

I almost never lose a stitch when I’m loom knitting, but hand me a pair of needles and I’m as inept as it is possible to be. But I’m determined to get the hang of this. Other people can do it, so I can too. It’s just going to take me longer than I expected, and I hope my patience holds out.

The basket weave crochet was much easier. Someone posted a question on Facebook about the tutorial, which is how it wound up on my radar. The poster couldn’t figure out the pattern because the lady who did the video only spoke Spanish. I do speak Spanish, but it’s been years since it was spoken to me, so I’m very rusty. But I managed to follow along well enough to actually do it. It helped that her videos were very clear, even though I understood almost nothing she said.

So that’s it. Life continues on its insane path, and we just keep it as positive as possible. Hopefully, I’ll be back soon!


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